Intel could face record antitrust fine in Europe

By on April 30, 2009, 4:48 PM
The European Union appears close to formally take action Intel for what they see as anticompetitive business practices in the region. The size of the penalty is to be discussed by representatives from 27 EU governments in early May, according to reports, but legal experts estimate it could total a record $1.33 billion – more than two times the $663 million fine Microsoft faced back in 2004.

The European Commission can theoretically go as far as 10% of a firm's global sales. To put that into perspective, $1.33 billion is equivalent to about 3.46% of Intel's revenue of $37.6 billion in 2008. Regulators would presumably impose a fine that high only in the event of cartel behavior, however, not to an individual company.

The Commission has been investigating Intel ever since receiving a complaint from AMD in 2000. The charges include offering inducements to European retailers for not buying processors from AMD, paying “a leading OEM” to delay the launch of products with an AMD inside, and giving substantial rebates to the same OEM if it bought only CPUs from Intel. The latter of course maintains that its actions were within legal boundaries.

User Comments: 4

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peas said:
yay down with Inhell
Burty117 said:
I hate Intel, they rip you off and as this story shows, are prepared to do anything to get their products out there. Now its fair enough to be competative but AMD do good proccessors and I want more systems built with AMD! If I go down to my local PC World almost all the computers boast an Intel Chip. Its wrong when you consider the cheap computers run slower on an Intel chip than a same priced AMD chip. At the end of the day. Its us, the consumers that are losing out but also AMD. who recently released some core 2 beating Phenom II's that they are selling for almost nothing just to get some sales. I hope Intel start to play fair when they get fined, It would be nice to go into PC World and see half are Intel powered and the other half AMD. Not just Intel everywhere.
JDoors said:
Who gets all that money?Is the EU being diligent by enforcing monopoly laws, or are they just using those laws as another source of revenue? They don't even have to win the case if a company settles, so what have they got to lose?I'm not talking about this case in particular as I don't know the specifics, but it sure SEEMS like the EU often pursues cases that appear to have no merit.
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